Nighttime Fear

Boutique Shows is excited to present our guest blog from Lisa at The Toy Hunter. In this post, Lisa talks about the nights creeping in, leading children to fear the darkness. I know this is a problem as my little girl (who is only 3 soon) has just started to fear monsters! Lisa discusses ideas that we as parents can use to help our precious little ones overcome that fear. 

It’s that time of year again when the nights are drawing in and everything seems dark, quiet and cozy as we get the kids ready for bed. For some children, the darkness can be something to fear, and we’ve all gone through those stages where our kids won’t go to sleep because of that fear. If you’re in that stage now, it WILL pass, so don’t worry! And to be clear you are not alone. Many children have a fear of the dark at some stage of their childhood, and it’s how we deal with this fear that’s most important.

I believe that the main reason children fear the dark at this time of year, is that during the lighter summer months, many of them will have been going to bed when it was still daylight outside, so there was no darkness to be afraid of. But now that summer has ended, many of us now hear the phrase from our children, ‘I’m scared of the dark’

My children have all gone through the fear of the dark stage and there are plenty of ways in which you can help them. Just even the simple things, such as leaving the landing light on, and leaving the bedroom door open a jar can all help.

But my favourite way to help children overcome their fear of the dark is through the wonderful story ‘Can’t You Sleep Little Bear’ by Martin Waddell . During my teaching days, I would often read this story to the children in my class to help them overcome this fear.

 If you don’t know the story, the synopsis is that Big Bear sets out with all his nighttime fear cant you sleep little bear bookpatience and understanding to show Little Bear that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. When all the lanterns in the cave aren’t enough to quell Little Bear’s troubled emotions, Big Bear offers–in a final loving gesture–nothing less than the bright yellow moon and the twinkling stars!

This story became one of those classic bedtime favourites with my own children, especially when they went through the fear of the dark stage. As we snuggled together to read the story, the kids seemed to relax and they became very settled at bedtime.

We also used nightlights to help conquer their fear of the dark. Unlike Big Bear in the story, I couldn’t promise to bring the yellow moon and twinkling stars to them, but the Cloud B nightlights came very close!

blue star plush turtle night light nighttime fearThese nightlights create a magical starry nighttime sky which is projected onto the ceiling of the bedroom. This instantly transforms the room from a dark scary place into a wonderful and peaceful room. These nightlights cleverly use soft lighting to give a soothing glow to their night-time images and all lights also have a 45-minute timer so that they automatically switch off after your child has fallen asleep, which then means that they can enjoy a good quality sleep in darkness, as recommended by paediatricians.

As my children became older, they wanted a little more control over their night time lighting, so the Aloka Sleepy Lights seemed like a great option. Being LED meant they were safe for my kids to touch and energy efficient too.nighttime fear led rocket light

These sleepy lights can be turned up for bedtime reading and turned down for drifting into sleep and there’s a choice of colours too, to give that added control and individuality to the light. It comes with a handy remote and my favourite thing is the sleep function that allows the light to get dimmer over time. The timer function means the light will turn off automatically after an hour, and so these also come highly recommended by paediatricians.

I know that bedtime is different in every house, but a stable, comforting routine will most definitely help any child feel secure. A good book, a good night light, and a reassuring cuddle can be just what your child needs to feel ready to drift into a sound sleep without fearing the dark or feeling nervous.

All that remains for me to do now is to wish you all “Sweet dreams.”

nighttime fear butterfly led lightI’m Lisa, mum of three, an ex-primary school teacher, turned toy hunter. My blog follows my journey to find quality and unique toys, gifts, crafts and activities that will educate and delight children. I am also a firm believer in learning through play.


You can read more of Lisa’s writing at her website

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